Cook Strait pelagic - 23 May

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philbattley
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Cook Strait pelagic - 23 May

Postby philbattley » Sat May 25, 2019 9:38 am

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Short-tailed Shearwater
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Short-tailed Shearwater

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Black-fronted tern
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Black-fronted tern with leg-flag

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Westland Petrel
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philbattley
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Re: Cook Strait pelagic - 23 May

Postby philbattley » Sat May 25, 2019 9:39 am

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Buller's Albatross

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Black-browed Albatross
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philbattley
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Re: Cook Strait pelagic - 23 May

Postby philbattley » Sat May 25, 2019 9:40 am

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Southern and Northern Royal Albatrosses

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Gibson's Wanderer

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Antipodean Wanderer
Last edited by philbattley on Mon May 27, 2019 10:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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philbattley
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Re: Cook Strait pelagic - 23 May

Postby philbattley » Sat May 25, 2019 9:41 am

We had a great trip in perfect weather into Cook Strait on Thursday with a bunch of Massey University ornithology students and associated uni hanger-ons, with Colin Miskelly joining us from Wellington. We headed out into the strait and tailed a trawler that had a long line of albatrosses spread over a km or so behind it, and had a fabulous time picking up species. The birds weren't that interested in hanging around our boat, even with fish scraps heading their way, but later in the day we had a good selection behind the boat. 18 tubenose taxa were seen if you count forms of Wandering Albatross separately, with the bird of the day undoubtedly being an Antarctic Fulmar. It was hard to get a good gauge on numbers, but with 200+ albatrosses, 100-odd Cape Petrels and 500+ Westland Petrels over the day, there was no shortage of birds. The same skipper will be taking out the Birds NZ conference trip on Queens Birthday Monday, so it augurs well for a great trip.

Colin may have more accurate numbers, but here's the list:
Antipodean Wandering Albatross (1)
Gibson's Wandering Albatross (2)
Northern Royal Albatross (5+)
Southern Royal Albatross (1)
Salvin’s Albatross (1; only Colin saw it)
Buller’s Albatross (1)
White-capped Albatross (uncountable, but c. 200)
Black-browed Albatross (1)
Northern Giant Petrel (2+)
Cape Petrel (100+)
Antarctic Fulmar (1 - spotted sleeping with Cape Petrels, then awesome views when it came behind the boat)
Westland Petrel (500+; plenty behind the trawler, but bigger groups sitting as we headed back towards land)
Grey-faced Petrel (2; again spotted by Colin)
Fairy Prion (2, including one that winged around behind the boat for a bit)
Fluttering Shearwater (groups inside Wellington Harbour)
Sooty Shearwater (half a dozen?)
Short-tailed Shearwater (a couple, including one that swam up behind the boat)
Common Diving Petrel (10+)

Also 40-odd Little Blue Penguins in the harbour, Little, Little Black, Pied and Black Shags, Red-billed and Black-backed Gulls, White-fronted Terns and several Black-fronted Terns crossing the strait, including one with a leg-flag just visible!

Was really great to have so many giant albatrosses in view at one time, and I even got some sound recordings of chattering Cape Petrels and a grunting Wandering Albatross! Plus a big Sperm Whale photobombed the birds...

Cheers, Phil

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Bird of the Day: Antarctic Fulmar
Last edited by philbattley on Mon May 27, 2019 10:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
Davidthomas
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Re: Cook Strait pelagic - 23 May

Postby Davidthomas » Sat May 25, 2019 10:33 am

Argh! I’m so jealous of the Fulmar!! A bogey bird of mine. Here’s hoping he’ll stick around til the conference pelagic....
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Adam C
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Re: Cook Strait pelagic - 23 May

Postby Adam C » Sat May 25, 2019 2:53 pm

Great lookin trip! Yeah. Fulmar was a great find.
“Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.”

Samuel Ullman
Mike Bell
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Re: Cook Strait pelagic - 23 May

Postby Mike Bell » Mon May 27, 2019 9:29 am

Hi Phil,
Nice Birds! The flagged BFT will be a bird banded on the Upper Clarence River (Molesworth Station, over the Hill from Hamner Springs). We get a number roosting of these birds roosting at the Wairau Lagoons and Lake Grassmere, and you see them head out to sea to forage. If anybody has a image which shows the two letters which would be on this flag then I would be super keen to see if we can ID the individual bird.
Thanks!
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philbattley
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Re: Cook Strait pelagic - 23 May

Postby philbattley » Mon May 27, 2019 9:52 am

I think the best will be a partial on the 2nd figure, alas.
Paul Gibson
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Re: Cook Strait pelagic - 23 May

Postby Paul Gibson » Mon May 27, 2019 2:59 pm

Very nice pictures Phil, a great trip it seems. I too am jealous of your Fulmar picture, a nice one.

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